Pike Township parents, students call for better pay for teachers and bus drivers

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INDIANAPOLIS — Parents and students rallied outside of the Pike Township Schools Administration building Tuesday, calling for competitive pay for teachers and bus drivers.

At the same time, the Pike Classroom Teachers Association met with school administrators for another round of negotiations on teacher contracts.

”We just want to let our teachers know that we appreciate them very much,” Katherine Smutzer, a Pike Township Schools parent.

It’s appreciation, and also voicing their displeasure with school administrators.

”We’re ashamed and we’re embarrassed,” said Nate Dunlevy.

Dunleavy went to Pike TWP Schools and now has two kids in the system. He said the offers the school system have put on the table for teachers so far have not been good enough.

”If the school district isn’t willing to pay our school teachers equitable contracts on par with literally any district around them we’re in trouble,” Dunlevy said.

Just steps away from the rally, the Pike Classroom Teachers Association and school administration were locked in another negotiation meeting.

Dunleavy thinks without a good deal, teachers will leave. Something students say they do not want.

”It would be really sad to see all of them leave just because they aren’t getting what they deserve and that’s not only effecting them its effecting the whole pike township,” said Kate Covely, a Pike High School student.

Dunleavy said plans and proposals won’t make Pike Township a great school system, it’s the teachers that count. 

”What makes that happen are trained professionals who are great teachers, who care about students,” he said.

But, it’s not just teachers Dunleavy and others are advocating for, they want to see bus drivers get higher pay too.

”They want to squeeze every penny out of people who are doing a very difficult and necessary job and that’s our bus drivers,” Dunleavy said.

After more than five hours of negotiations Tuesday night, the Pike Classroom Teachers Association and the Pike Township School Administration did not come to an agreement, according to PCTA President Chris Ludy.

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